YORKVILLE – A Yorkville man who was seriously injured in the Vietnam War hugs the woman whose father saved his life during an emotional reunion of family and friends.
Navy Corpsman Larry Goss of Indiana was killed in a mortar attack just hours after treating Marine Corps Private Camron Carter of Yorkville on February 14, 1968.
Lori Goss-Reaves, daughter of Larry Goss, appeared at Yorkville American Legion Post 489 on September 11 to sign copies of a new book about her father’s service, her mother’s dedication and her own search to uncover the truth about what had happened to him. dad.
“I really wanted my dad,” said Goss-Reaves, who was not even 6 months old when her father was killed.
Goss-Reaves’ book, “Kiss Lori For Me,” details her research, including two trips to Vietnam.
Carter, who first contacted Goss-Reaves in 2014, proved to be an important part of Goss-Reaves’ efforts to uncover the truth.
“We’re on patrol trying to find the North Vietnamese when they ambushed us,” Carter said.
“I couldn’t move. I called for help. I thought I had lost my left arm. He was just hanging on two pieces of flesh,” Carter said. “My whole left side of my body was full of holes.”
A Navy corpsman is an enlisted medical specialist. Instead of serving on a ship. Goss has found himself on the front line with the Marines and has a date with fate. He patched up Carter.
“I shouldn’t be here. I should have bled to death. God was with me,” Carter said.
Carter was hit around 3 p.m. About three hours later, Goss was killed by a mortar shell.
But in the fog of war, the bodies of Goss and nine Marines also killed in the attack were not immediately found. Goss was missing for 21 days. Eventually, the corpsman’s body was recovered and returned to Indiana.
Meanwhile, it wasn’t until nine hours after being injured that Carter was airlifted to a hospital by helicopter. The doctors said they would have to amputate his left arm.
“I said no, you’re not,” Carter said. “I’m a musician. You’re not going to take my arm.
Eventually, the doctors agreed that if he could squeeze a tennis ball, they would save the arm, and Carter squeezed it as hard as he could.
“I’m a very firm believer,” Carter said. “God saved my arm.”
Today, Carter plays electric bass in the band at Restore Church in Yorkville, while his wife, Michele Carter, sings in the choir.
Michele Carter is grateful that her husband persevered and didn’t lose his arm.
“I think he would be a different man,” Michele Carter said. “He played in a rock band and now he plays for God.”
Vietnam veteran and Purple Heart recipient Rick Gardner of Yorkville came to learn about the history of Goss-Reaves.
“I think everyone should tell their stories about Vietnam,” Gardner said. “Let their families learn what it was,” he said.
“Kiss Lori For Me” is filled with photographs, including copies of government telegrams to Goss-Reaves’ mother first listing her husband as missing and later reporting his death.
Goss-Reaves is an associate professor at Indiana Wesleyan University. Her husband, Eric Reaves, is a syndicated cartoonist who produces the “Hi and Lois” comic strip.
The book is published by Patagonia Press and is available on Amazon.com.